Archives: Technology

Subscribe to Technology RSS Feed

Arbitration in Attorney Fee Agreements After Royston v. Lopez

Brandy Wingate Voss
I had the pleasure of briefing and presenting argument to the Texas Supreme Court in Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, LLP v. Lopez (Nos. 13–1026 and 14–0109, opinion available here), a case dealing with the enforceability of arbitration clauses between attorneys and clients. Earlier this week, I participated in a webcast about the case titled “Engagement Letters/Arbitration … Continue Reading

Social Media for Lawyers—and Judges

Yesterday, I spoke to a group of appellate lawyers and judges about social media. For anyone interested, my presentation slides appear below. I always learn something new when preparing to give a CLE presentation. In this instance, it was interesting to look at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and similar outlets from a judge’s perspective. Here are … Continue Reading

Old-School Legal Researchers: ThomsonWest Is Shuttering Westlaw Classic—and Soon

It’s been five years since ThomsonReuters (then ThomsonWest) launched WestlawNext and re-branded the legal research database many lawyers grew up on as “Westlaw Classic.” I received notice yesterday that my firm’s access to the old version will cease at the end of March, leaving WestlawNext as the only option available under our contract. This is … Continue Reading

Texas Appellate Courts Get a Major Website Upgrade

If you’ve received CaseMail updates this week, you’ve likely noticed something new when clicking on the link embedded in your notification emails. Last Friday, the Texas appellate courts got a major online upgrade with the launch of the new and improved site. The new site is very user-friendly and much more pleasing to the eye than the … Continue Reading

Are Lawyer-Hyperlinked Briefs Headed for Extinction?

When used appropriately, hyperlinks to specific portions of the record or to on-point authorities can be a very effective tool in the appellate lawyer’s arsenal. But are recent developments enhancing that tool or effectively taking it away? Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit standardized the format for citing electronic official … Continue Reading

State Bar Appellate Section Launches Redesigned Website

As co-chair of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section’s Website Committee, I am pleased to share that the Section’s completely revamped website is now live at The redesigned site allows visitors easy access to information about the Appellate Section, including the latest news and upcoming events, a searchable membership directory, and details about … Continue Reading

I, Juror No. 3

Since I became a practicing lawyer, I’ve been called for jury duty four times: twice in Dallas County (where I lived from 1997 to 2003), and twice in Travis County (where I live now). This past week, I served my second stint as an actual juror. My first experience as a juror was in Dallas. … Continue Reading

Ralph H. Brock, 1948-2013

I was saddened to learn that Ralph Brock—the first chair of the State Bar Appellate Section and one of my predecessors as editor of The Appellate Advocate—passed away on July 14, 2013. Ralph was extremely personable and was in many ways ahead of his time. In recent years, he served as chair of the State Bar … Continue Reading

Word-Count Rules Going Into Effect December 1

A trial lawyer poses the following question: Do you know for sure whether the new appellate rules are going into effect December 1? Any thoughts on whether an appeal filed on November 29 (but not actually due until December 3) should maintain the old format or use the new rule? Per this Texas Supreme Court … Continue Reading

SCOTX Adopts Word-Count Rule

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an order incorporating word counts into the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. The order amends Rules 9, 38, 49, 52, 53, 55, 64, 68, 70, and 71. Some highlights of the amendments include (for computer-generated briefs in civil cases): a minimum 14-point font (12-point for footnotes); a 15,000-word limit … Continue Reading

Lone Star Lawyers Converging on Houston for SBOT12

I will soon be departing for Houston to attend the 2012 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.  This will be my third straight year to attend and my second year as a presenter. On Thursday, as part of the Computer and Technology Section’s “Adaptable Lawyer” track, Don Cruse and I will give a talk entitled … Continue Reading

Video of SCOTX CLE Event Now Online

Thanks to the efforts of Texas Supreme Court Clerk and Austin Bar Civil Appellate Law Section Council member Blake Hawthorne, video of the recent “Evening with the Texas Supreme Court” event is now available for viewing through the Court’s webcast page. I was honored to moderate this discussion as chair of the ABA Section and … Continue Reading

Tom Mighell on iPad for Litigators

I recently had the privilege of hearing legal technology consultant Tom Mighell make his “iPad for Litigators” presentation to the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Litigation.  Texas lawyers may know Tom from his days as a litigator with Dallas firm Cowles & Thompson.  He has authored an excellent legal tech blog, Inter Alia, for several years. I … Continue Reading

Hedges and Hawthorne to Speak on New TAMES System

On March 29, 2012, Fourteenth Court of Appeals Chief Justice Adele Hedges and Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne will speak to the Austin Bar Civil Appellate Law Section on "The Texas Appeals Management and E-filing System: Making Our Appellate Courts More Efficient and Transparent." This talk goes along with an article Blake published in the most … Continue Reading

Solo/Small Firm Section CLE Set for 2/23

As immediate past chair of the Austin Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Section, my main responsibility is to organize and run a half-day CLE program the Section puts on each year.  We have put together what I think will be an outstanding program that will educate attendees on a number of subjects relevant to solos and small … Continue Reading

SCOTX to Hold Hearing on Uniform E-Filing System

This afternoon at 2:00, the Texas Supreme Court will hold a public hearing to explore the feasibility of a statewide uniform system for electronic court filings.  The hearing will take place in the Supreme Court Courtroom and will be webcast live here. The Court is considering whether Texas ought to implement a system modeled to … Continue Reading

Results of the Twitter Brief Contest

As I wrote about here, the State Bar Appellate Section sponsored a Twitter brief contest in conjunction with the recent Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course in Austin.  The winners were announced during the Section’s annual meeting. The official PowerPoint containing the winning entries and several honorable mentions is embedded below for everyone’s enjoyment. I intend … Continue Reading

SCOTX: Attorneys Must E-File Effective 9/12/11

Texas appellate e-filing continues to evolve at a rapid pace.  Effective September 12, 2011, attorneys filing documents in the Texas Supreme Court must do so electronically.  Pro se parties may e-file, or they may submit paper documents. View the Court’s latest e-filing order here.  Don Cruse has broken down the new order over at the … Continue Reading

The Adaptable (Appellate) Lawyer

I recently attended the 2011 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio.  As mentioned here before, the Bar asked me to come back as a presenter this year.  It was quite an honor. My subject was e-filing in state and federal appellate courts.  In conjunction with my talk, I published a short article in … Continue Reading

Texas Appellate E-Filing Goes Live

Here is the text of an e-mail I received from SCOTX Clerk Blake Hawthorne this morning, along with links he included in the message: Effective March 28, 2011, you may electronically file documents, pay your fees, and serve opposing counsel using the electronic filing system. To use the electronic filing system you must first choose … Continue Reading

E-Filing Rollout Rescheduled for March 28

So say the programming people, according to TexParte.  See my last two posts for more information. That should give us plenty of time to try the system out before I speak on appellate e-filing at the 2011 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio in late June.  The State Bar has invited me … Continue Reading

E-Filing Launch Delayed has pushed back the previously announced March 14, 2011 launch for Texas appellate e-filing, according to Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne.  In the process of addressing performance issues in Harris County, technical problems have arisen regarding electronic payments.  A new roll-out date has yet to be announced.… Continue Reading